Opinion: Why all the long-awaited sequels?

Patrick Wiggins



Sequels. We all like to see them happen, but we don’t always like them when they do happen. It’s to the point today where you walk out of a theater and you think WHEN is the sequel coming out, not if a sequel is coming out. But it wasn’t always like that.


Believe it or not, there was a time that when a movie ended, it was over. You never saw the characters again. The story was wrapped up at the end and that was that. Granted, sequels did happen, but it didn't feel like every other movie being released was a part two or a part three of something that already happened (now we have literal “Part 2” of movies coming out, but that’s a discussion for another day).


On Nov.14, “Dumb and Dumber To” was released. It’s the third movie in the "Dumb and Dumber" franchise (I can’t believe I just said that) and a sequel to the original released in 1994. 1994! That’s 20 years later! Do we really need to visit these characters again? How many people really wake up in the morning and wish they had another movie starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels driving around in a van that looks like a dog?


So this basically brings me to this week’s question. Why are sequels being made such a long time later? I initially thought (and still mostly think) that Hollywood is running out of ideas, so they are looking at older movies that did decent at the box office and are either remaking them (like with Red Dawn) or are making sequels.


I am guilty of wanting a sequel done years later. A few years ago, it was widely believed that Matthew Broderick would be returning in a sequel to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," and I was one who really wanted to see it. But looking back, it’s better off that it never happened.


Making a sequel to a classic many years later is a dangerous thing to do. When a movie has been out as long as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" has been, it really attaches itself to the word “classic." It becomes one of those movies that everyone has to see.


When you take a movie that is as loved as that, and you announce a sequel to it, you are also giving yourself extremely high expectations from fans, and you haven’t even done anything yet. Every move you make, every person you cast, every frame from a trailer will be heavily critiqued and most people will find something wrong with it, and in the end, you create a movie that never should have been seen in the first place and bombs at the box office.


Another reason I believe this happens is because Hollywood likes to beat a dead horse. “Oh hey, this movie was successful, so let’s make more. And we need to rush it out because the sooner we get it out, the sooner we start getting money from it."


It’s at this point you can almost say Hollywood is dead. How many people truly make movies only because they really enjoy doing it? Hollywood is nothing more than a business, and I under-stand why that is. But you can make new things and enjoy doing it and still make a lot of money without only doing it for the money.